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George Hall

George Hall

Position(s):
OF, 1B
Born:
March 29, 1849
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
5' 7"
Weight:
142 lbs
Major League Debut:
5-05-1871 with WS3

Early career

George began his professional career with the Washington Olympics of the National Association in 1871, hitting .294 in 32 games. He moved onto the Baltimore Canaries for the 1872 and 1873 seasons, hitting .336 and .345 respectively. Playing mostly center field up to this point, he moved around from center to right field the following year when he played for the 1874 Champions, the Boston Red Stockings. After just one season with the Red Stockings, he moved on to play for the Philadelphia Athletics where he had another good season at the plate, hitting .299, and four home runs, which was good for second place behind Jim O'Rourke's six.

After the 1875 season the National Association folded, leaving room for a new league to begin. In 1876, the National League came into existence, the first official "Major League". George's team, the Athletics, followed that movement with very little success, finishing seventh out of eight teams.

One of the bright spots that year for the Athletics was the hitting prowess of their star hitter, George Hall. He led the team in almost all major hitting categories including a .366 batting average, 51 runs scored, and a league leading five home runs. On June 17, 1876, he became the first Major League baseball player to hit 2 home runs in one game. Those 5 home runs stood as the single season home run record until Charley Jones hit 9 in 1879.

For the 1877 baseball season, Philadelphia had been expelled from the league for refusing to go on a western road trip, late in the 1876 season, for financial reasons, so George moved on to play for the Louisville Grays. Again, he had an excellent season, hitting .323, scoring 51 runs, and hitting 8 triples. Surprisingly, after appearing in the league leaders for home runs the last 2 season, he did not hit one in 1877.

Gambling scandal and banning

On October 26, 1877, Louisville club vice president Charles Chase confronted George and fellow Gray Jim Devlin with charges that they threw some road games in August and September. Both admitted only to throwing non-league games, one of which was an exhibition game in Lowell, Massachusetts on August 30, and another in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 3. The admissions also implicated teammates Al Nichols and Bill Craver. Hall claimed that he and Devlin helped in losses to the Cincinnati Reds on September 6 and to the minor league Indianapolis Blues on September 24‚ but he argued that since the Reds were about to be suspended and the games nullified‚ it amounted to an exhibition game. As a result of the scandal, all four players were banned for life from Major League Baseball.

Hall died in Ridgewood, New Jersey at the age of 74. He was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

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